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Avera Medical Minute: Cardiologist answers questions about the holidays and heart disease

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 2:59 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The holidays can bring on problems with your heart. North Central Heart Institute Cardiologist Dr. John Wagener says it is a busy time of year at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls and answers questions about heart issues over the holiday season.

Q: Why is this time of year more stressful on our hearts?

A: Traveling financial issues towards the end of the year, but you know also people tend to like, like most of us eat more. Sometimes people are you know drinking more alcohol and getting less sleep overdoing it with their activity level and trying to be outside more shoveling things like that or not doing enough to keep them fit

Q: What steps can we take to reduce our risk for heart issues.

A: Yeah, well I think, to try to continue to live like you do most of the year. Try to eat in moderation. When they say wine is okay for you we talk about six ounces so that’s like half a glass of wine. So, binge drinking is not a good thing, but then also, you know, trying to get good sleep. I think the other main thing is to listen to your body if you’re having symptoms if you if you’re short of breath or you’re having chest pain, you know, call your provider and don’t stay away just because it’s the holidays and you don’t want to ruin the holidays. Make sure you listen to your body and if you need to, see your doctor.

Q: Have you experienced that people have delayed getting attention and getting help because of the coronavirus pandemic?

A: Yeah, and that’s been going on ever since the pandemic started. you know there have been several studies that have shown that people don’t want to come in because you know they’re scared of getting and getting the coronavirus. And people presenting late, and sometimes too late to help them. And it’s safe here. We take all the precautions we need to keep you safe so we can help you.

Q: What else do we need to know?

A: When you’re talking about heart attacks, time is muscle. So, coming in as soon as possible can really help you in the long run. If you have heart disease you’re at risk for heart disease, wear your mask, social distance, and be safe. So doing all those things can be extremely helpful as well.

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